“She Belongs to Me” (Bob Dylan Cover)

We’re looking for more Guest Sessions submissions! So, sit down, pull up your acoustic guitar and camera, post the video on YouTube, and CLICK HERE!

As I always say, it’s never too soon for another Bob Dylan cover video!  Personally, I’ve attempted to restrain myself from recording a comfortable, enjoyable Dylan cover this year.  However, tonight’s installment of the Guest Sessions is a Dylan cover song music video with an interesting twist.

First of all, this is a song from Dylan’s 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home.  This is perhaps one of his best albums, and it was a transition point for him, half of the album being full band renditions and the other half being classic acoustic-only compositions.  (For his next album, Highway 61 Revisited, he would dive deeply into the world of electric rock…)

So far, I’ve recorded two covers from this album — “Subterranean Homesick Blues” for the members-only area of the site and “Love Minus Zero/No Limit.”  No one here has yet dared to take on the more noteworthy songs, such as “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” or the song that the Byrds launched to chart success, “Mr. Tambourine Man.”  This being said, I was truly impressed with the apparent ease with which Stan Denski, our guest tonight, played “She Belongs to Me.”  Granted, this is a fairly straightforward song, but he changed the tuning and plays in an interesting fashion.  His version is true to the original, yet very much his own and sung well.

Thank you, Stan, for sending this very entertaining video!

I’ll let him introduce the video — Stan writes,

This is a cover of Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs To Me.”  It is played on an old Guild 12-string tuned to an open D and played by barring chords from the top of the neck which allows the highest strings to ring open and create diminished chords.  It also uses a lot of harmonics struck at the 12th fret.

I was showing a friend how to play this version and he videotaped it and, later, stuck it up on YouTube.

Stan Denski, Indianapolis

She & Him’s “Volume Two” (2010) – The Weekend Review

By Chris Moore:

RATING:  4 / 5 stars

I read recently that Volume Two is, in so many words, a collection of some of the brightest sounding sad songs ever recorded, and I have to agree with that description.

Subtleties such as this are what set She & Him’s follow-up effort apart from the competition.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should concede that, after hearing a track and a half on my first listen, I actually expressed out loud my opinion that I was glad I bought this album, but that I recognized it as a one-speed album of retro pop.

As I have become so accustomed to finding, I was wrong.

By the third track, my nonchalance was deteriorating and before I had completed my first listen, I was hooked by Zooey Deschanel’s unique, alluring lead vocals, backed by M. Ward and company’s instrumentation.  Still, I assumed that this would wear off after a few listens.

Not so.

In ways that I have not quite been able to ascertain and certainly haven’t been able to translate into words, She & Him have managed to walk the line — never crossing it — with what should be derivative sounding retro pop.  At times, I feel like I’ve been transported back to the fifties or sixties, listening to A.M. radio of the past.  At others, these songs feel as new as any indie rock that’s available today, including the sorts of songs played by Deschanel’s husband, the king of indie himself, Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard.

She & Him's "Volume Two" (2010)

She & Him's "Volume Two" (2010)

With two exceptions, this is an album of Deschanel-penned originals, which adds strength to the collection.  Were this a disc of covers, there would be no real tie to modern-day, to the lead singer.  Instead, there is a sense of urgency and relevance in her words, although the overall sound may lean toward the aforementioned retro genre.

Songs like “Thieves” and “Don’t Look Back” are undeniably the highlights of this crop: unique, distinctive tracks.  Although — as per usual — I don’t necessarily agree with the choice of single, “In the Sun” is an entertaining track.

The first half of the album is rounded out with two excellent slower songs.  “Lingering” is an infectious little tune, and “Me and You” is a comforting number.

The second half of the album admittedly lags in a couple places.  “Home” is perhaps the most notable point.  It is not so much that this is a bad song, just that it is not an exemplary one.  (But, then, when has any song about home been great?  Nice, or heartwarming even, but rarely great.)

“I’m Gonna Make It Better” and “Sing” are good songs, but Volume Two doesn’t really pick up again until the final trio of tunes.  The first, “Over It Over Again,” is single material, and certainly first half of the album quality.

Next comes “Brand New Shoes,” a melancholy track that invokes Fiona Apple.

Finally, rounding out the collection, comes the lush, breath-taking vocals of “If You Can’t Sleep.”

Even the covers fit seamlessly — “Ridin’ In My Car” sounding like a natural addition to the originals, and “Gonna Get Along Without You Now” being one of my favorites since my first listen.  Still, these songs — particularly the lyrics — sound dated in a way that most of Deschanel’s originals do not.

From front to back, She & Him have made Volume Two an album of authentic and distinctive sounds, simple but moving lyrics, all punctuated by Zooey Deschanel’s characteristic vocals — truly a must-listen.